On a busy day of incomings and outgoings at Preston North End, Josh Earl has parted ways with the club and subsequently joined League One side Fleetwood Town.

The 23-year-old has joined The Cod Army on a two-year deal and brings to an end a 14 year stay at Preston North End.

Earl came through the youth set up capable of playing in most positions, and enjoyed a successful loan spell with Lancaster City before breaking into the first-team set-up aged just 18 in the 2017-18 season.

It was arguably his most impressive season with the club has he went on to make 19 appearances in the Championship, and it seemed North End had a really impressive talent on their hands.

Top Scoring XI This Season (2021-22)

Top Scoring XI This Season (2021-22)

Over the next few season Earl struggled to hold down a regular spot in the starting eleven under Alex Neil, and then latterly Frankie McAvoy and Ryan Lowe.

Loan spells came in League One, but his first one with Bolton Wanderers led to a three month injury lay-off after just 15 minutes of his debut. He finished that season with Ipswich Town and then the following season he had a spell at Burton Albion.

Earl never quite kicked on from his impressive burst into the side five years ago.

Capable of playing in a back-three on the left side his new manager has hinted that’s where his immediate future may lie.

Cardiff City v Preston North End: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Photo by Ian Cook – CameraSport via Getty Images

Speaking to the Fleetwood Town official website, Scott Brown said; “He’s a left-footed centre-back who wants to push forwards and likes to be aggressive in the air and we’re all ready to work together to push on ahead of the new season.”

In the wing-back role last season, Earl did have his critics.

With that formation you need the wide players to attack, and Earl always seemed far too defensive, and unwilling to take on an opponent which was incredibly frustrating to see.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become a key player for Fleetwood Town though, and it is a shame to see Preston receive no money for his services after agreeing to effectively end his contract by mutual consent.

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